AP7’s balanced Såfa loses 0.5% in H1 but still beats private providers

first_imgIn the first half of 2015, the two funds returned 10.5% and 0.6%, respectively.However, AP7 said developments on global stock markets had been strong in August this year. “This has meant that the unit price for the AP7 equity fund, as of 24 August 2016, has increased by 7.3% since mid-year,” it said.AP7’s board decided last year to scale back the leverage in the equity fund to 125% from 150%, from the summer of 2015.The pension fund said the equity fund’s leverage rate was 124.8% as of the end of June.Within its equities fund, AP7 said active alpha management had detracted from investment profits to the tune of SEK238m (€24.9m) in the half year.Tactical asset allocation, on the other hand, contributed positively by SEK59m in the six-month period.The pension fund explained that active management consisted of tactical allocation and pure alpha management involving taking long or short positions in shareholdings, while tactical asset allocation mainly involved departing from the established leverage ratio by 12 percentage points up or down.AP7 also said it made an SEK25.3bn net profit on its active-equities lending programme in January to June via its depositary bank Bank of New York Mellon.The equity fund’s assets fell in value to SEK259.7bn at the end of June from SEK261.1bn at the end of December 2015, while the bond fund’s assets grew to SEK23.5bn from SEK22.1bn, according to the interim data. Sweden’s state pension fund AP7 – the default defined contribution (DC) fund in the Premium Pension System (PPM) – reported a 0.5% loss for the first half of the year for its Såfa lifecycle product, which it said was still slimmer than the 1.7% loss private premium pensions suffered over the period.The return on the Såfa product, which combines investments from AP7’s equity and bond funds, is much lower than the 9.8% AP7 managed to generate for its savers in the same period in 2015.In its interim report, AP7 said the equity fund, which holds the bulk of the pension fund’s assets, suffered a 0.5% loss between January and June, in line with the benchmark index.The bond fund, meanwhile, produced a return of 0.7%.last_img read more

New MIT OpenCourseWare Initiative Aims to Improve Independent Online Learning

first_imgRelated Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market audrey watters Tags:#E-Learning#NYT#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img MIT OpenCourseWare is launching five new courses today that mark a new model for one of the world’s premier open educational resources. These OCW Scholar courses are designed for use by independent learners, and like the other material made available through MIT OCW, are freely available for anyone to pursue. These aren’t distance learning classes – there is no instructor, no contact with MIT, no credit. But the courses are meant to be stand-alone offerings, not requiring any additional materials for learning.Although MIT OpenCourseWare may have become synonymous with the move to online education, it’s worth noting that the original expectation of the initiative was that by making the university’s course content freely and openly accessible, other educators would use the syllabi, lecture notes, tests and assignments to design their other courses. It’s apparent, however, that the most of the people using the site are there as learners, not as teachers.The OCW Scholar courses are aimed at providing these learners with a more complete set of materials, so that those taking the courses needn’t turn elsewhere for other resources – such as journal articles – in order to complete the curriculum. These new OCW courses combine materials from multiple MIT courses, and the OCW team has worked with university faculty and teaching assistants to create new materials specifically designed for this project. The Physics 1 class, for example, contains a set of video lectures from MIT physics professor Walter Lewin, a set of course notes (replacing the need for a traditional textbook), a set of class slides, homework problems, homework help videos (in which Lewin helps learners through solving the problems), links to related materials, and an online study group at OpenStudy where you can connect with other independent learners.MIT OCW plans to publish 20 OCW Scholar courses over the next three years, all focused on introductory college-level science, math, engineering and other foundational subjects. This first set of courses that launch today include 8.01SC Physics I, 8.02SC Physics II, 18.01SC Calculus I, 18.02SC Calculus II and 3.091SC Introduction to Solid State Chemistry.The OCW Scholar courses are a new approach to MIT OpenCourseWare, but as the program notes, this is meant to complement not replace the other OCW publications. “We’re still committed to publishing MIT’s materials as we always have,” says OCW Executive Director Cecilia d’Oliveira, “and our core publication continues to provide tremendous value to educators and students around the world. With OCW Scholar, we are enhancing our support for independent learners and building on what we’ve accomplished with the rest of the site.”As we recently reported, MIT OpenCourseWare has continued to grow in popularity, with 9.6 million visitors last year and tens of millions of files downloaded from the site, from YouTube and from iTunesU. The expansion of the program is meant to increase the scalability of OCW, making sure that more people can have access to these educational resources. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Preserving the Green in Britain’s Ancient Houses

first_imgAfter their first couple of decades, many conventionally constructed houses may start to seem “old” to their occupants. Tile grout goes missing, fixtures fail, the exterior needs repair, and the roof needs to be replaced. The maintenance list expands well beyond the usual, annual priorities.But old by those standards is nothing compared to old by the standards of the oak-frame home occupied by Paula Sunshine, who lives in Suffolk County, England, and has taught herself and others a lot about the construction techniques used to build the home, which dates back to the 16th century.Sunshine has studied under the Prince of Wales’s Craft Scholarship Scheme, a program designed to train people in the building trades to properly handle repairs and remodels of Britain’s fairly large stock of ancient buildings. On her Web site, she notes that she has written two books on the subject and offers training to homeowners and contractors who want to learn about timber-frame construction and materials.Most typically, the walls in these buildings were framed with green timber. Hazel sticks (known as wattle) would be tied to the frame and serve as a lath panel on which a mixture of clay and straw would be applied with a trowel. Oak strips fastened to the exterior serve as the foundation for a layer of rendered daub and, on top of that, a mixture of lime and hair (usually human hair).The daub is hard when it dries, but also surprisingly flexible and thermally resistant. Sunshine points out that a timber-frame home built with wattle-and-daub construction is in many ways a green home, particularly because it requires only locally produced materials (except for the lime). The primary drawback to this type of construction, Sunshine says, is that it is extremely labor intensive.Click here to view a recent BBC interview with Sunshine that includes demonstrations of some of the techniques she uses for timber-frame wall repair.last_img read more

Saina reclaims career-high 2nd spot in world rankings

first_imgAce Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, who had a disappointing Asian Games campaign ending up without a medal, rose a rung to reclaim her career-high second spot after 13 weeks in the latest Badminton World Federation rankings.Saina, who crashed out of the Asian Games in the quarterfinals, has 63211.2637 points in the recent list released by BWF.China’s Xin Wang held on to the top spot with 66152.4017 points.Another Chinese, Yihan Wang, occupied the third spot with 62488.9106 points.Denmark’s Tine Baun (60400.0982) is fourth with Chinese Shixian Wang (60400.0982) completing the top-five.last_img read more

Dr. Nigel Clarke Takes Oath as Member of Parliament

first_imgStory Highlights Dr. Clarke was sworn in following his victory in the by-election held on Monday, March 5. This followed the retirement of the Hon. Derrick Smith from representational politics. Newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for North West St. Andrew, Dr Nigel Clarke, was sworn in today (March 8), during the sitting of the House of Representatives.After taking the Oath of Office, the MP was welcomed by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, as well as other Members of Parliament on both sides of the House.Dr. Clarke was sworn in following his victory in the by-election held on Monday, March 5. This followed the retirement of the Hon. Derrick Smith from representational politics.As a result of the by-election, the ruling Jamaica Labour Party retains its 33-30 majority in the Lower House.Dr. Clarke previously served in the Upper House of Parliament as a Senator, and his record of public service also includes serving as Chairman of the HEART Trust/NTA and as a Director of various public bodies.A former Rhodes, Commonwealth and Jamaica Independence Scholar, Dr. Clarke holds DPhil. and MSc. Degrees in Mathematics and a BSc. Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of the West Indies. Newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for North West St. Andrew, Dr Nigel Clarke, was sworn in today (March 8), during the sitting of the House of Representatives. Dr. Clarke previously served in the Upper House of Parliament as a Senator, and his record of public service also includes serving as Chairman of the HEART Trust/NTA and as a Director of various public bodies. last_img read more

Federal government immigration poll suggests hardening attitudes

first_imgOTTAWA – When he announced the federal strategy of ramping up the number of immigrants to Canada over the next three years, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen described it as what Canadians wanted and needed — especially with governments around the world closing their doors to immigrants and refugees.It was a subtle jab at the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has cracked down on immigration in the name of the “America First” sentiment that got him elected a year ago Tuesday.But over the course of those 12 months, Canadian views on immigration appear to have shifted in that same direction, according to the survey the federal government carries out each year as part of its immigration planning process.Partial results of the internal survey were posted online in connection with last week’s release of the plan, which calls for 310,000 people admitted to be admitted in 2018, up from 300,000 this year.By 2020, the level of new admissions will rise to 340,000.About 27 per cent of the survey’s 2,503 respondents said they felt that number is too high — an increase of four percentage points over the responses to the same question in the 2016 survey, which had only about 1,600 respondents.While the survey is done annually, the questions aren’t always the same, and the sample size also varies.The 2017 survey was conducted between July 31 and Aug. 30, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 1.96 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The 2016 survey — used by the department as a point of comparison in their analysis — surveyed 1,598 people with a margin of error of 2.45 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.The timing of the 2017 study coincided with a spike in asylum seekers crossing illegally into Canada.The influx generated heated debate about the integrity of Canada’s asylum system. The Opposition Conservatives have repeatedly accused the government of placing Canada’s historically high support for immigration at risk as a result.In 2005-06, 1,598 Canadians were asked about the positive impact of immigration on a national and local level. Seventy-two per cent agreed there was one for Canada, while 58 per cent saw a personal benefit. When the question was repeated this year, only 70 per cent saw a positive national effect, while 56 per cent believed there was a positive impact on them personally.Though the surge of asylum seekers in the summer drew attention, more people have been seeking asylum in Canada since Trump won.The divisive U.S. president campaigned on promise to curb immigration in general and refugees in particular. His first actions upon taking office in January included an executive order, a move that prompted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say publicly that Canada would continue to welcome those fleeing persecution.The poll suggests attitudes towards refugee resettlement in Canada have also dampened in the last year.When asked in August which of the three main immigration categories should grow, 25 per cent of respondents singled out the refugee category, down from 29 per cent in 2016, when a similar question was asked.Thirty-two per cent also told pollsters in 2017 that too many refugees were coming to Canada, up from 30 per cent in 2016.The 2017 poll also asked respondents about their comfort levels around people of different races and religions, a question that was also asked in 2005-06.This year, 89 per cent said they were comfortable around people of a different race, down from 94 per cent in 2005-2006.When asked if they felt comfortable in social situations with people from a different religion, 82 per cent said yes, down from 88 per cent the last time the question was asked.last_img read more

Sacred Lies Elena Kampouris Kevin Carroll Kiana Madeira Ryan Robbins To Star

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Elena Kampouris, Kevin Carroll, Kiana Madeira & Ryan Robbins – Rex/Shutterstock/IMDB Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Twitter Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall), Kevin Carroll (The Leftovers), Kiana Madeira (Dark Matter), and Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary) are set as leads in Sacred Lies (working title), a half-hour drama, that has been given a 10-episode series order by Facebook Watch.It hails from former True Blood executive producer Raelle Tucker and director Scott Winant and Blumhouse Television.Based on the classic Grimm Brothers tale The Handless Maiden and Stephanie Oakes’ novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, and adapted and updated by Tucker, Sacred Lies is about a handless teen who escapes from a cult and finds herself in juvenile detention, suspected of knowing who killed her cult leader.last_img read more

Game 7 is a Great Time to Get Physical

The Bruins fired their outspoken coach, Don Cherry, after the season. Cherry coached the next year for the Colorado Rockies. After they finished dead last in the NHL — their slogan had been, “Come to the fights and watch a Rockies game break out!” — CBC hired Cherry as a broadcaster. His “Coaches’ Corner” segment debuted the next year and has aired on CBC ever since. Cherry is so legendary to fans of “Hockey Night in Canada” that he was once voted the seventh-greatest Canadian of all time. Alexander Graham Bell finished ninth in the same poll. Wayne Gretzky finished 10th.Cherry — if you’ve never seen him — has a populist sensibility that seems to appeal to the same part of the Canadian psyche as Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford.1Cherry was a special guest at Ford’s swearing-in ceremony as mayor in 2010. And like Ford, he isn’t much of a stickler for the rules. He loves physical hockey and hates ticky-tack penalties, like the one the Bruins got in Montreal 35 years ago.But Cherry’s experience in 1979, as much as it altered the course of Canadian and Canadien history, was more the exception than the rule. Usually in Game 7s, referees let an awful lot go and call far fewer penalties than they do in the regular season or the rest of the playoffs. Game 7s are very good environments for the physical hockey teams that Cherry likes best.Case in point: the 2010-11 Bruins, who won Boston its first Stanley Cup since 1972. In those playoffs, the Bruins became the first-ever NHL team to win three Game 7s. The Bruins were a penalty-prone team, finishing third in the league in major penalties and eighth in penalties overall. They benefited from referees swallowing their whistles in those three Game 7s; just 18 penalty minutes were called in those games, including no penalties at all in the Bruins’ conference finals win against the Tampa Bay Lightning.While a game with no penalties at all is an outlier,2There were just three during the NHL’s 2013-14 regular season, out of 1,230 games. referees routinely call fewer penalties in Game 7s. Since the 1987-88 playoffs, teams have accumulated an average of 8.6 penalty minutes per 60 minutes of ice time in Game 7s.3This assumes an average of 63 minutes of ice time per game in the playoffs and 61 in the regular season; playoff games are slightly longer because overtimes can go on indefinitely. The figures do not include bench minors — like Cherry’s too-many-men call — as Hockey-Reference.com does not track them, but these represent a small fraction of all penalties. The rate in the other six games of each playoff series is almost twice as high: 16.5 penalty minutes. It’s also almost twice as high — 16.1 penalty minutes — during the regular season.It’s unlikely that this is a fluke. Game 7s, like the one the Bruins and the Canadiens will play Wednesday and the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins will play Tuesday night, are a special treat. But there have been more than 100 of them since 1988, making for a reasonably large sample. Furthermore, there is evidence from baseball, basketball and other sports that officials are prone to passivity with more on the line. About 20 percent of power plays result in goals, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.But it’s easy to blame the refs. Is it possible that the players — as opposed to the officials — are doing something differently in Game 7s?Not in a way that would explain the discrepancies in the data. The NHL now keeps track of body checks, or hits. In Game 7s since 2009, teams have averaged 28.7 hits per 60 minutes of ice time. That’s a tiny bit lower than the rate in the first six games of the playoffs, which is 30.2 hits per 60 minutes. But it’s much higher than in the regular season, when teams average 22.2 hits. The playoffs are considerably more physical, and Game 7s are typical of the playoffs.It is true that teams get into fewer fights during the playoffs. Since 1997-98, teams have been called for 0.8 minutes’ worth of major penalties per 60 minutes of ice time in the playoffs, as compared to 2.7 per 60 minutes in the regular season. Major penalties generally mean fighting majors, so that can be taken to mean that fights are only about one-third as common in the playoffs. Perhaps there are fewer fights in Game 7 than during the rest of the playoffs — I don’t have that data handy. But fighting majors are so rare in the playoffs to begin with that they can’t account for much of the drop-off in penalty minutes in Game 7s compared to the rest of the series.Incidentally, there are more misconduct penalties called in the playoffs than during the regular season, and this trend has been especially pronounced during the past five years or so. For those of you who aren’t familiar with misconducts, they’re penalties that rule a player off the ice for either 10 minutes or the rest of the game, depending on the severity of the infraction. However, unlike major and minor penalties, they don’t give the other team a power play (although misconducts are usually called in conjunction with major or minor penalties). Thus misconducts, along with fines and suspensions from the league office, may serve as an attractive solution for officials. They serve a deterrent effect without having quite as much of a direct impact on the game as fans see it.But by Game 7, referees drop all pretense of calling the game as they usually would, despite the action remaining highly physical.Which teams might benefit from this? The next chart lists the net number of goals scored by each remaining playoff team during special-teams situations (power plays and penalty-kills; the totals include short-handed goals). The higher a team ranks on this list, the more it stands to lose from a drop-off in penalty calls. Conversely, the teams low on the list would prefer more even-strength play.The Penguins and the Rangers ranked first and third among NHL teams for net special-teams goals during the regular season. The Rangers’ power play has been awful in the playoffs so far, but that’s probably just a function of a small sample size. Still, they probably won’t mind a game with fewer penalties, especially since the Penguins’ power play is so deadly. On the other hand, the Rangers are more of a finesse than a power hockey team, so it’s not likely that they’ll just be able to check Sidney Crosby into submission, even with laxer officiating.The Bruins and the Canadiens might also be something of a wash. The Bruins recorded 17 percent more hits than the Canadiens during the regular season — but the Canadiens had 20 percent more penalty minutes. And while the Bruins have the better power play, Montreal has the better penalty-kill.If there’s a team that could benefit from the Game 7 officiating style, it could be the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings led the league in hits during the regular season, and while they avoided fighting majors, they had the fourth-highest number of minor penalties in the league. They also have an anemic power play and just an average penalty-kill, which made them net-negative in special-teams goals during the regular season.Don Cherry is still an unabashed Bruins fan, but the Kings fit his style the best, avoiding blatant cheap shots but otherwise pushing the limits of legal play. If they beat the Anaheim Ducks tomorrow to advance to a Game 7, they might have better luck than Cherry did. In 1979, the Boston Bruins, facing the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals, had a one-goal lead with 2 minutes and 34 seconds to play in the third period. But then the Bruins were whistled for a bench minor during a sloppy shift change — too many men on the ice. You can probably guess what happened next. Canadiens’ legend Guy Lafleur scored on the ensuing power play to tie the score. The Canadiens won in overtime. read more